Hotel WDC wanted to demolish is actually on council's own local heritage list

By James Smith

15th May 2022 | Local News

Plans to demolish the Woodside Hotel were revealed last month
Plans to demolish the Woodside Hotel were revealed last month

A hotel that Warwick District Council's own housing company had planned to demolish is actually on the council's own 'Heritage Assets' list.

The list includes buildings from across the district that have not been given national listing status, but are "of special local significance".

And the 19th century Woodside Hotel and Conference Centre, is included.

Whilst the list does not protect any of the buildings from development it does state that planning permission must pay "regard to the scale of any harm or loss and the significance of the heritage asset".

And where a demolition is proposed, an Article Four ruling can be made to protect the building. However this would have to be passed by WDC itself.

Whilst the hotel was bought by Archel Homes in November 2021, plans to demolish it were revealed by Crewe Lane Kenilworth JV LLP last month.

The company is formed of Vistry Linden Limited and Milverton Homes - WDC's own company.

And Crewe Lane Kenilworth is also set to build 620 new homes and a primary school around the hotel.

WDC's planning committee this week refused to grant permission for it to be knocked down on biodiversity grounds.

Crackley Hall School and the town centre Clock Tower are also on the local list from Kenilworth

Why is it on the list?

The Heritage Assets list includes a range of buildings in the area that have particular cultural, historical or aesthetic qualities.

The Victorian manor house is included because of its architectural design, historic merit and because it is a "unique" and "exceptional" example of its type.

"Woodside went on to be owned by a number of notable figures, and in 1906 owners Albert and Annie Cay had the building enlarged and re-fronted by Coventry based architect Harry Quick," the list says.

"It was Quick who added the striking porch tower and Tudor-arched doorway to the principal elevation.

"The house is comprised of red-brick with stone dressings and a slate roof.

"It features a prominent tower above the entrance, distinctive kneelered gables surmounted by ball finials, and within the spandrels of the Tudor- arched doorway are carved coats of arms."

NPPF: "The effect of an application on the significance of a non-designated heritage asset should be taken into account in determining the application"

The hotel is not the only Kenilworth building included on the list.

It also features:

  • The Clock Tower
  • The Severn Trent Water pumping station at Mill End
  • Crackley Hall School
  • Montpelier House
  • Bannerhill AA Battery and Command Centre on Rouncil Lane

Town council 'unable' to object

At last month's Kenilworth Town Council planning committee meeting members said they were 'unable' to object to the plans as there was no planning reason to use.

However the committee agreed to comment on the application that the importance of the local list should not be ignored.

Kenilworth Town Council's planning committee said it regretted the fact that it was 'unable' to object to the demolition

"This building is on that local list. Now that doesn't prevent demolition but there has to be good reason," said Cllr Kate Dickson.

"We could say that the reason for regret is that we know this building is on the local list and there is no evidence of good reason for demolishing it and developing the site."

Warwick District Council, Vistry Linden and Archel Homes have all been approached for comment.

(Image via Maypm via wikimedia commons)

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